Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What We're Doing This Week

Dominic... he's still stuck on the letter F and the number 5. We only do preschool when Dominic wants to. My basic preschool philosophy is this. Preschoolers should play hard. Any "work" they do should be voluntary. So, when Dominic wants to "do" preschool, we do. When he doesn't want to "do" preschool, we don't. Lately, he hasn't wanted to, so, we haven't. He's still learning how to read--on his own. I've started a formal phonics program with him, but I've put it on hold for a while. I may start it back up in January, but I haven't decided yet. In the meantime, when he wants to do math, I sit with him and work on Math-U-See. It's a first grade math program. He's ready for it, but his writing skills just aren't up to speed. Also, I see no point in rushing him. I figure he'll probably finish it about half way through Kindergarten. The same is true of the phonics program. When he wants to color, I let him. When he wants to do puzzles, I let him. Etc.

Xavier... he's working on subtraction. He's 7 lessons away from the end of his 1st grade math. I guess I better order the next book. I've actually slowed him down. I don't plan on him starting the 2nd grade book until January. I want him to play with the math he's doing now, for a bit. He's about halfway through his phonics program. When he finishes it, he'll be done with formal phonics instruction. I plan to finish it by the end of May. We are two chapters away from the end of The Odyssey. Xavier is pushing me to finish it. We will tomorrow. Then, we'll have to start something new. I'm trying to decide between Little House in the Big Woods and The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War by Emily Little. Our educational philosophy is to follow the timeline of history we are studying. This year, we are studying ancient history, so we should be reading books dealing with ancient history. But, he's been wanting to read Little House in the Big Woods, so we may deviate from the plan for a few weeks. In grammar, he is studying nouns. He likes grammar because it is almost exclusively oral, at this point.
He is studying food in science, this week. We will learn about food chains and I am planning to let him watch (gasp) the Magic School Bus food chains movie.

Gabriel... He finished The Iliad yesterday. His review? It was interesting, but he didn't really like it because it was too bloody. Today, we started reading Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. I say we because I read ahead of him at night, then he catches up during the day. I try to do this with all his books, but I fell behind with The Iliad. Okay, fine. He outpaced me early on because I kept falling asleep while I was reading it. Now that he's done, I'm just not going to try to finish it. It's not one of my favorites. I'll read it when Xavier gets to it. The way we do literature for Gabriel is this: we read, then we discuss, then we read, then we discuss. When we finish the book, he writes a summary. If the book is a "great work", he also looks up some info on the author and writes a brief summary about the author.
I started supplementing his math this week. He is studying fractions. We use Math-U-See for our main math program. It is a very good program and I am very happy with it. It works well for all our children. However, he is half-way through his book, and I found a really fun book called Life of Fred by Stanley F Schmidt, Ph. D. This is math in story form. Since Gabriel loves to read, I thought it would be fun for him to use this book. He started it on Monday. I've read through it, and think that all people learning fractions should try this book out. It does help Gabriel to want to do math because it is a very silly and fun book. Anyway, we will go back and forth between it and MUS.
Gabriel is also studying nouns, right now, in grammar. I find this a bit humorous.
He is studying sea weed. Gabriel loves everything ocean, and enjoys doing experiments, so this is a lot of fun for him. He doesn't enjoy doing the summaries and experiment write ups that he has to do, but oh well!

Today, we studied Hammurabi and the Babylonians and on Thursday, we'll study the Assyrians. Usually, we only study one a week, but Gabriel is a week ahead of us, so Xavier has to "catch" up. We like to study the same things at the same time. This way, Gabriel gets to listen to the story that I read to Xavier. They all get to color a picture. They all do the same black line map. Xavier does his extra reading. Xavier does his narrations (he tells me what he learned and I write it down). Then, Gabriel goes off and does a ton more work. He does his own reading on the subject. Does an outline of the subject matter. Does more outside reading, then does summaries of that reading. He also has a dateline that he keeps up to "date". This week, they are also building a ziggurat out of Legos. I'll post a picture after they finish it.

Tomorrow, we are going to see a play! "Rudolph" is its name. On Friday, we are going to the Glassworks Factory. We will be taking a tour, then Gabriel will get to blow his own Christmas ornament. We are very excited about this. I'll post pictures as soon as I take them!

Thursday night is our pack meeting and Xavier will be getting his bobcat badge. Sunday is Gabriel's orchestra concert. Since we are such a small orchestra (there are 8 students in the beginning orchestra and 5 in the regular), we are going to hold our concert at a nursing home. I love this idea. The residents will love our students and our students will love how appreciative they are. It's a win-win.

That's all for now. Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. Fun! I love Mara, (well any books by her ;)) ziggaruts are cool looking,and I hope you have fun at the play.


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